Why TokenVault is going public source

June 8, 2021

In investing time and resources into improving TokenVault and other editors, we felt uncertain about the fact that there are already open-source clones offering free (but untrusted) distribution of our paid extensions. This is certainly within their rights, as our custom editors are licensed with AGPLv3.

For context, Standard Notes clients and sync server have always been released under an open-source license. Extensions have had a different history, as their primary purpose is precisely a way to monetize without impeding on core experience. They started as public-source, later changed to open-source, and today take another shift, but one we think is nuanced, reasonable, and hopefully, fair.

Editors that we develop in-house mostly from scratch will house a public-source, but not open-source presence. This means you can browse the source code online, and even use it for personal use, but you cannot redistribute it for free or for profit.

Editors that are derived and are mostly wrappers on top of existing open-source software will retain either the license of the majority share library, or AGPLv3.

Allowing us to protect our investments in resources allocated to improving editors also allows us to further re-invest revenue into improving our primary-focus open-source clients and server. Our goal is building the best way to store and manage your personal notes and data. End-to-end encryption, open-source, and business sustainability are fundamental pillars of our product, and we hope you’ll continue to trust us to adjust the levers in ways we deem important to our business, while keeping the scales tipped at-large towards open-source.

Thanks for reading

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